Scotland will remain in the dark over the true extent of the coronavirus crisis without a dramatic increase in the number of daily tests, Dumbarton's MSP has warned.

Jackie Baillie says that without widespread testing, the country will not understand the scale of the fight it faces and will not be able to respond appropriately.

The MSP's comments come after the leading Scottish think-tank, Our Scottish Future, run by former Prime Minister and Scottish Labour MP Gordon Brown, released a report stating that the Scottish Government had not conducted anywhere near as many Covid-19 tests than should have been carried out by this point.

Ms Baillie said the think tank's findings echo advice from the World Health Organisation which has now been urging nations to test as much as possible since early March.

Pointing out that she has continuously called on the Scottish Government to increase testing, the MSP says the Scottish Government is still continually failing to meet its own daily testing target of 10,000 tests.

She said: “The World Health Organisation and health experts around the world have been making it clear from day one that we must test, test and test again.

"Without widespread testing, we will not understand the scale of the fight that we face and we will not be able to respond appropriately."

While welcoming the changes that have been made surrounding testing policy in Scotland, Ms Baillie claims it has been slow and is still not anywhere near far enough.

She added: “The public deserves to be reassured by the Scottish Government that it is doing everything it can to keep them safe.

"Currently, the distinct lack of testing means that those who are asymptomatic are continuing to pass on the disease and many who need treatment are slipping through the net.

"It is not enough to only test those presenting symptoms.

"This approach has seen Scotland’s death toll rise beyond what anyone would have predicted just a few months ago.

"We need mass testing to help us to control coronavrius”

The Scottish Government has defended its record on testing.

A spokesperson said: "We are significantly scaling up our testing capacity.

"As of May 13, 47,780 total tests had been carried out for Covid-19 and 77,750 people had been tested. To date, 13,929 people have tested positive.

“Our priority is to test for clinical reasons, for example those in hospitals or care homes, followed by key workers in our health and care system.

"Other key workers and their families have also been tested to enable them to return to work.

“In addition, the First Minister has made clear that we are engaged in a significant expansion of testing capacity to support a test, trace, isolate approach and to expand surveillance will be a crucial part of any moves to lift the lockdown measures in the future.”